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The role of educational and learning pc games in the development of children with disabilities Mezei Beáta Master of Speech Pathology and Audiology Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Key concepts and structure Definitions (play, pc game, disability) Educational pc games vs. entertaining games Playing vs. gaming Types of educational pc games “+” and “–” sides of educational pc games
Introduction Games and games-based learning - part of education for decades ; Lev Vygotsky: play is the leading source of development - preschool years: basic social skills/ sense of self /learn to interact /role-play ; Play is often interpreted as frivolous; yet the player can be intently focused on his or her objective, particularly when play is structured and goal- oriented, as in a game; Because computer games are a subset of games, everything we can say about games in general applies also to them;
Defintions PLAY:activity which proceeds within certain limits of time and space, in a visible order, according to rules freely accepted, and outside the sphere of necessity or material utility; The play-mood is one of rapture and enthusiasm; (J. Huizinga, 1938) GAME:organized play including six key structural elements: rules, goals and objectives, outcomes and feedback,conflict/competition/challenge/opposition, interaction, and representation or story;(Prensky, 2001) DISABILITY: condition or function judged to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual or group; The term is used to refer to individual functioning, including physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment mental illness, and various types of chronic disease;
Benefits of games1. Games are a form of fun. That gives us enjoyment and pleasure.2. Games are form of play. That gives us intense and passionate involvement.3. Games have rules. That gives us structure. 4. Games have goals. That gives us motivation. 5. Games are interactive. That gives us doing. 6. Games are adaptive. That gives us flow. 7. Games have outcomes and feedback. That gives us learning. 8. Games have win states. That gives us ego gratification. 9. Games have conflict/competition/challenge/opposition. That gives us adrenaline.10. Games have problem solving. That sparks our creativity.11. Games have interaction. That gives us social groups.12. Games have representation and story. That gives us emotion. (Prensky)
Logic game Make the frogs to change their places (green ones with brown ones). They can go only forward, and can jump only across one frog.
Game genre (Hertz, 1997) action games (reaction based games); adventure games (solving logical puzzles to progress though a virtual world) ; fighting games; puzzle games (such as Tetris); role-playing games; Simulations; sports games and strategy games;
Entertaining games vs. educational games Dr Diana G. Oblinger (2006) : “Although games can be effective learning environments not all games are effective, nor are all games educational. Similarly, not all games are good for all learning or for all learning outcomes. The key is how games are used. Simply adding games to a curriculum does not mean they are integrated with it. Integration requires understanding of the medium and its alignment with the subject, the instructional strategy, the student’s learning style and the intended outcomes.”
Entertaining games vs. educational games Clark Abt -Serious Games- about educational games: serious games have “educational purpose and are not intended to be played primarily for amusement. This does not mean that serious games are not, or should not be, entertaining.” Harteveld and his collaborators theorise that a player should understand that a game has specific learning goals in order to appreciate the results; the context of game-based learning is probably more important than the specific features and/or content of the game itself;
Educational games vs. Entertaining games - similarities and differences- Educational games Entertaining gamesNot about winning Not about winningExplicit learning goals Objectives are not clearly definedCheating is not okay Cheating is often okayPositive/negative reinforcement Little after-action reviewGuided experiential learning Played primarily for amusement
Playing or gaming? -through the prism of disabilities- PLAY GAME + + is more freely well defined objective involves the whole person in to stable structure, even the activity predictable gives children a sense of power can be adapted to particular and control needs of individual promotes imagination gives children a sense of power Helps with social interacting and control Promotes language and learning without too much communication effort - - even if they are intractive direct human interaction is missing not always has clearly defined goals Isolation can be chaotic provide few opportunities for movement may have physical limitations
Let’s play -Expedition on Tau Ceti 4 Imagine that you are in an expedition to on other planet, and you are the member of the council which decides the lifestyle of people with disabilities on that planet. That planet has highly advanced computer technology, which can assure an experience similar to the technology presented in Avatar, the 3D movie. So a person with any disability can live a virtual life in which he or she is healthy or even has superpower. But in this case they will have no real contact with family or society. If this program will not be implemented, people with special needs will live similar as on Earth. Question: How should live people with special needs on Tau Ceti IV?
Impacts and outcomes of games Positive or negative effects Intended or unintended effects General or specific effects
Learning outcomes of educational pc games skills based learning outcomes – (technical and motor skills) cognitive outcomes – declarative (knowledge of facts and data) – procedural (knowledge about how to perform a task) strategic (the ability to apply rules and strategies) affective outcomes (beliefs or attitudes) (Garris, Ahlers and Driskell -2002)
Decisive factors in choosingeducational games age, both physical and mental developmental level the childs interests attention span specific learning goals desired social skills availability of others to interact with your childs unique overall needs
Positive sides of educational pc gamestrue the prism of disability can be easily adapted to individuals specific needs in order to create a customized treatment plan; great diversity; attract participation by individuals across many demographic boundaries (e.g., age,gender, ethnicity, educational status or disability); can assist children in setting goals, ensuring goal rehearsal, providing feedback, reinforcement, and maintaining records of behavioural change; allows to measure performance on a very wide variety of tasks, and can be easily changed, standardized and understood; are fun and stimulating for participants; provide an innovative way of learning; provide elements of interactivity that stimulate learning;
Positive sides of educational pc gamestrue the prism of disability may help in the development of transferable IT skills; researchers have found that childrens reading and spelling abilities significantly improved with exposure to educational video games; improve spatial abilities, the ability to create and apply multiple strategies, and may help develop critical analyzing techniques; students are required to meet and exceed challenges, which may increase their desire to meet challenges in other contexts as well; A program is infinitely ‘patient’ and can present a lesson or idea repeatedly and consistently without variation or fatigue; educational programs can be delivered at a distance ;
Negative sides of educational pcgames true the prism of disability Video games are often portrayed in a negative manner because they are seen as having an "addictive" quality; At the present time, the most popular games are usually violent; Another disadvantage of using games as part of the curriculum is the chance of over-use; When students and teachers begin to rely too heavily on the use of video games to learn or review material, they risk losing the skills that allow them to function outside of a digital source; Videogame technology has rapidly changed acrossm time; Therefore, videogames are constantly being upgraded which makes it hard to evaluate educational impact across studies;
Educational pc games and childrenwith autism In a number of studies, educational video games have been found effective in helping children with autism in several developmental areas; Children with autism have difficulty with facial recognition and nonverbal communication ; which is thought to contribute to problems with development of complex social skills; Video games that enhance perceptual discrimination have potential in helping with memory and facial discrimination; Autistic children who have difficulty communicating or expressing themselves often can learn non-verbally through music and art in video games; Regularity and predictability are important to autistic people and computers are, by nature, consistent and logical; Aaps for autism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_8b7PgnNQQ
Conclusions Children with disabilities generally have special needs regarding to their education; Some of those needs can be met by educational pc games; As the technologies become more advanced and more available there is a significant opportunity to improve the quality of education of children with special needs; Technology can never be a substitute for the human teacher but educational softwares are tools that the teacher can choose to use; Constant monitoring at all levels is also vital ; Educational pc games can also form useful connections between people with different disabilities; It is important to be kept a balance between the use of educational pc games and other learning methods which requires real human interactions in the developmental process of children with special needs;
References Griffiths, M.(2002).The educational benefits of Videogames. Education and Health; Information And Communication Technology In Special Education (2000). Unesco Institute For Information Technologies In Education. Moscow. Khine, M. (2011).Playful Teaching, Learning Games. Sense Publishers; Smed,J.,& Hakonen, H.(2003). Towards a Definition of a Computer Game. Turku Centre for Computer Science; Barendregt,W.,&Bouwhuis D.G.,& Ridder, H.(2006)Evaluating fun and usability in computer games with children. Technische Universiteit Eindhoven; Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Game-Based Learning. New York: Mc Graw Hill. Gee, J. P. (2004). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/learning/computer-learning-games.shtml http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/games-and-learning